Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid, is linked to various health benefits in humans including visual development of infants and reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases in adults. Traditionally, DHA is obtained from marine fish; however fish stock resources jeopardise the sustainability of this source. Some marine microalgae contain a high amount of DHA and can be utilised as an alternative to fish oils due to its rapid growth rate, and lower growth requirements.
The applicant's DHA-rich oil is sourced from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp and will have the same intended applications and use levels as those already authorised, which include its use in dairy products, cereals, food supplements and cooking fats.
Regulation (EC) 258/97 makes provision for novel foods or ingredients that are substantially equivalent to an existing product to be placed on the market once the applicant has informed the European Commission. In all cases to date, the Commission has required that the applicant first obtains an opinion on substantial equivalence from a member state. Daesang Corp has requested such an opinion from the UK Competent Authority on the equivalence of its DHA-rich oil from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp to the authorised DHA-rich oil from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp produced by Martok Biosciences.
Comments on the draft opinion are requested from the public to assist in informing the Committee. Any comments on this application should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 18 May. Comments will be taken into account by the Committee before it adopts its final opinion on this ingredient
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